I want to share with you a few tips that changed the way I taught. It's called Whole Brain Teaching or WBT. The summer after I had my first baby I was busy changing diapers, feeding, and playing with my 3 month old. My teaching partner was busy on Pinterest searching for good ideas for us to try next year. She stumbled upon something called Whole Brain Teaching and we never looked back.
Now let me start off by saying that I don't claim to be an expert. I don't claim to know everything about it. I have tried it and want to share what has worked for me.
What's nice about WBT is that you can start small or go all out. You can take what works for you and implement. I plan to do a series of blog posts about some of the WBT strategies I tried in my room. WBT is a classroom management/teaching technique that gets students involved and using as many parts of their brain as possible. It's about getting students engaged, talking, gesturing, teaching and mirroring. Plus, it's a LOT of fun! You can find out more about it by going here: Whole Brain Teaching
The first thing I tried in my room is an attention getter called "Class! Yes!". This was a fun way to get kids paying attention without having to say "Alright let's come back together! Everybody eyes on me!". All you do is say "Class!" and they reply "Yes!". Easy enough, but also not revolutionary. The fun part comes with how you call out "Class!". If I whispered it to them, they must whisper back "Yes!", if I say "Classy, classy, classy!" in a high-pitched voice, they must respond in a high-pictched voice saying "Yessy, yessy, yessy!". My favorite was "Classity class class!" and they would respond "Yessity yes yes!". Each time you call for their attention you change it up so they don't get bored. It makes them smile and it focuses your students neo-cortices on what you are going to say next.
Here is a great video (about 4 minutes) that the Director of WBT put together on class-yes.
This technique works! If you are in the hall and don't want to be silly then whisper it (even if they are already quiet, it cues them that you are going to give them instructions or talk to them further). If you are on the playground you can shout it like a monster. You don't have to be over the top silly or crazy. Tailor it to fit your personality.
I've made a set of free posters for the cues/callbacks of WBT. I plan to go through each one and explain it. If you would like these posters you can download them here or by clicking on the picture below!
Try and it and tell me how it goes. I know you'll love it!